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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Spring holidays or online classes: What are the universities up to?

The federal government has announced the spring holidays across academic institutions in selected cities due to the recent upsurge in COVID-19 cases. What are the universities up to?

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Wednesday announced that all universities shall continue to operate as per guidelines issued earlier except for universities in a few cities where online classes will be conducted for two weeks.

The decision was taken following the federal government’s announcement related to the spring holidays across academic institutions in selected cities due to the recent upsurge in COVID-19 cases.

According to a statement released by the HEC in this regard, an exception will be given to universities and higher education institutions (HEIs) in the following cities: Faisalabad, Lahore, Multan, Sialkot, Peshawar, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Rawalpindi, and Islamabad.

“All universities and HEIs in the above-mentioned cities shall remain closed for physical attendance during March 15-28, 2021,” said the statement.

The HEC, however, stressed that academic activities will continue online during this period. Moreover, on-going and pre-scheduled exams can be conducted as planned with the complete observance of COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Read more: Schools to be closed as third wave of Covid-19 hits

“Universities are advised to ensure strict observance of the COVID-19 minimum health and safety protocols i.e., thermal scanning, wearing facemasks, social distancing, availability and regular use of sanitisers, and disinfection of buildings,” the statement said.

In addition, the commission advised universities to seek further guidance, if required, from the Chair or the provincial/regional members of the COVID-19 Oversight Committee or email at mgbhatti@hec.gov.pk.